This paper analyses the role of the private sector in humanitarian action in Haiti, with a particular focus on the response to the devastating earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince in 2010. During the response, international and Haitian businesses participated in humanitarian efforts – both directly assisting populations and working with aid agencies – for commercial and philanthropic reasons. Numerous businesses provided goods, services and technical assistance to aid agencies through commercial and pro-bono arrangements and collaborated with humanitarian organisations on the design and implementation of interventions. Much of this private sector engagement revolved around cash transfer programming and mobile communication. Aid agencies, financial institutions and mobile network operators worked together to provide cash and vouchers, and text messaging was used to channel information from humanitarian agencies to people affected by disaster, as well as to solicit information from them on their needs.
Case studies of Kenya, Jordan and Indonesia also feature within this research project.